Fine and Mellow

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
During his late period -- after his release from prison in 1969 up until the time of his death from cancer in 1974 -- Gene "Jug" Ammons did the sort of things that one associates with Grover Washington, Jr. He used electric bass and electric keyboards, he incorporated funk rhythms, and he put an instrumental spin on the soul and pop hits of the day. This 2003 release focuses on two of the post-incarceration albums that Ammons recorded in 1972: Big Bad Jug and Got My Own, both of which find the tenor titan moving in a somewhat commercial direction. Like Washington, he usually did it tastefully -- and this 73-minute CD, although not perfect, is rewarding more often than ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
During his late period -- after his release from prison in 1969 up until the time of his death from cancer in 1974 -- Gene "Jug" Ammons did the sort of things that one associates with Grover Washington, Jr. He used electric bass and electric keyboards, he incorporated funk rhythms, and he put an instrumental spin on the soul and pop hits of the day. This 2003 release focuses on two of the post-incarceration albums that Ammons recorded in 1972: Big Bad Jug and Got My Own, both of which find the tenor titan moving in a somewhat commercial direction. Like Washington, he usually did it tastefully -- and this 73-minute CD, although not perfect, is rewarding more often than not. Jug is a little too MOR on Neil Diamond's "Play Me," but he fares much better on gritty, blues-drenched, expressive performances of the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," the Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself," and four classics from Billie Holiday's repertoire: "Strange Fruit," "Lady Sings the Blues," "Fine and Mellow," and "God Bless the Child." Not surprisingly, myopic jazz purists hated Got My Own and Big Bad Jug on principle -- especially Big Bad Jug -- and felt that Ammons had sold his soul to Beelzebub by embracing Motown, funk, and pop songs. But then, Ammons was always funky to begin with. Jug was never an ultra-cerebral, abstract sort of player -- he was accessible and groove-minded in the late '40s and early '50s -- and it makes sense that someone who craved Louis Jordan during the Harry Truman years would record a Temptations gem in 1972. Fine and Mellow isn't among Ammons' essential CDs, but for the most part, it paints an attractive picture of the saxophonist's post-incarceration period.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/9/2003
  • Label: Prestige
  • UPC: 025218528122
  • Catalog Number: 24281
  • Sales rank: 92,513

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lady Sings the Blues - Idris Muhammad (5:27)
  2. 2 Play Me - Idris Muhammad (6:03)
  3. 3 Ben - Idris Muhammad (5:32)
  4. 4 Fly Me - Idris Muhammad (3:10)
  5. 5 Fuzz - Idris Muhammad (4:27)
  6. 6 Fine and Mellow - Idris Muhammad (5:03)
  7. 7 Strange Fruit - Idris Muhammad (3:36)
  8. 8 Big Bad Jug - Idris Muhammad (7:46)
  9. 9 God Bless the Child - Idris Muhammad (4:07)
  10. 10 Tin Shack Out Back - Idris Muhammad (7:46)
  11. 11 Lady Mama - Idris Muhammad (6:52)
  12. 12 I Can't Help Myself - Idris Muhammad (4:13)
  13. 13 Lucille - Idris Muhammad (4:55)
  14. 14 Papa Was a Rolling Stone - Idris Muhammad (4:31)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gene Ammons Primary Artist, Tenor Saxophone
Joe Beck Guitar
Ron Carter Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
Hank Jones Electric Piano
Sonny Phillips Piano, Electric Piano
Maynard Parker Guitar
Edward Bogas Conductor
Billy Cobham Drums
Ernie Hayes Organ
Idris Muhammad Drums
Mickey Roker Drums
Technical Credits
Neil Diamond Composer
Little Richard Composer
Gene Ammons Composer
Michel Legrand Composer
Barrett Strong Composer
Billie Holiday Composer
Edward Bogas String Arrangements
Ozzie Cadena Producer
Dave Grusin Composer
Lamont Dozier Composer
Kirk Felton Remastering
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer
Arthur Herzog Jr. Composer
Eddie Holland Composer
Brian Holland Composer
Walter Scharf Composer
Jim Stern Engineer
Harold Vick Composer
Norman Whitfield Composer
Jamie Putnam Art Direction
Donald Black Composer
Ted Panken Liner Notes
Lewis Allan Composer
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